Garden of Eatin': Guilford Gardens in Oklahoma City is a slice of heaven in suburbia

Garden of Eatin': Guilford Gardens in Oklahoma City is a slice of heaven in suburbia

by DAVE CATHEY

Chef Kamala Gamble never expected to be tuning into The Sports Animal radio network, but then she never expected to have a local basketball team to follow.

“I always thought you had to have hair on your chest to be a real sports fan,” she said with a laugh as she poured tea into a glass filled with ice. “I'm already thinking about next season.”

Seeing how a basketball team unified the Oklahoma City community, it's easy to see why Gamble has become among the Thunder's biggest fans, sporting a “Fear the Beard” T-shirt the morning after the Thunder's season came to an end.

Gamble, co-founder of the Slow Food OKC Convivium and Kam's Kookery, aspires to bind the community the same way the Thunder did, but her stage isn't a basketball court. It's a place just outside her back door.

Pass through that glass door, and you know how Dorothy felt emerging from the sepia tones of Kansas into the Technicolor of Oz or how Ray Liotta felt breaking from the tall corn clad in old Chicago White Sox garb to ask “Is this heaven?”

You haven't walked onto a 1930s soundstage highlighted by a yellow-brick road or a baseball field cut into a cornfield; you've entered Guilford Gardens.

Just as the Thunder makes jump shots to bring us to our feet, Gamble grows flavor-packed vegetables and herbs that will drop you to your knees.

Guilford Gardens, named for the street on which it resides, is three acres of residential property with about two acres reserved for vegetable, herb and flower production. Within Guilford Gardens you'll meet a commune of egg-producing chickens, who share a deluxe coop with a smattering of adorable rabbits to do their part in producing organic compost.

Kamala Gamble